Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska announced Saturday that she will vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, despite previously expressing opposition to filling a vacancy so close to the election.
were the only two Republicans to raise concerns about filling a Supreme Court vacancy when Barrett was nominated by President Trump last month. Both senators voted against moving forward with the confirmation process this weekend.
"Frankly, I've lost that procedural fight, so what I can do now is be consistent, and oppose a process that should not move forward," Murkowski said, explaining why she has opposed these procedural votes. However, she said that she would vote "yes" in the final confirmation vote, based on Barrett's qualifications.
"While I oppose the process that has led us to this point, I do not hold it against her as an individual who has navigated the gauntlet with grace, skill and humility," Murkowski said in a speech on the Senate floor.
Senators are expected to vote to limit debate on Barrett's nomination on Sunday, setting up a final vote for Monday evening. Barrett is expected to be confirmed along party lines, with all Democrats voting against. Collins has repeatedly said that she does not support filling the vacancy ahead of the election.
Democrats have rankled at the confirmation process for Barrett after Republicans in 2016 blocked President Obama's nominee from being confirmed to the Supreme Court because it was an election year. Democrats have also raised concerns that Barrett would vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act in an upcoming case, since she criticized Chief Justice John Roberts' ruling affirming the law in 2012.
Collins and Murkowski are considered two of the more moderate Republicans in the Senate. They both support abortion rights, and were two of only three Republicans to vote against repealing the ACA in 2017. Murkowski was also the only Republican who did not support Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation in 2018.